I was born in Reading, PA. I am married and I have a daughter and son. My full time career I am a police officer with The City of Reading Police Department in Berks County, Pennsylvania. I also work part time teaching a motorcycle course for The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Motorcycle Safety Program (MSP). I am certified by The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) as a motorcycle instructor ridercoach. My friends call me by my nickname of Trail. I acquired this nickname during my yellow belt test and it has stuck with me ever since.
- In 1981 at the age of 11 years old I started my karate training at the Heilman Karate Academy in Reading, PA.
- In 1987 I received the “outstanding karate student of the year award” within our dojo.
- In June 1990 I earned my Black Belt.
- In July 1991 I competed in The United States Karate Alliance (USKA) World Karate Championships tournament in New Orleans, LA.
- I took 1st place in Men’s Black Belt Traditional Japanese/Okinawan Kata
- I took 2nd place in KOSHIKI, light weight Black Belt (bare knuckle) full contact fighting.
- In 1992 I was rated as a National Champion and ranked 10th place in the Men’s Black Belt Kata Division by The United States Karate Alliance for recording the most competition tournament wins in the United States of America.
- In 2002 I received an award from Berks Women In Crisis for “Police Officer of The Year“.
- In July 2005 I competed in The World International Police Fire Olympic Games (WPFG) in Canada.
- In 2006 certified as a R.A.D. Instructor (RAPE AGGRESSION DEFENSE SYSTEMS). This is a self defense course that is only taught to women of all ages. This course is specifically designed for those women going off to college and those who live or work in high risk/crime areas.
During my karate training I have competed in numerous tournaments and attended numerous karate seminars. During my police career I have received annual training in the use of force as well as other training. I am certified in Pressure Point Control Tactics (PPCT). I am certified with The ASP Expandable Baton, PR-24 Baton, Oleoresin Capsicum Aerosol Training (pepper spray), and with a Taser. I also received Verbal Judo training. I have been on both the karate demo and tournament teams. I have competed up and down the East Coast including Canada. I have assisted with and taught several self defense courses for both men and women. Including one course we taught to high school seniors during their gym class in the Antietam School District. I have only been trained in one specific style of karate which is Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu. This is a traditional Okinawan Karate and Kobudo style. We train with real traditional Okinawan weapons or as it is referred to as kobudo. I have been trained by my Sensei John Snyder ever since I was a yellow belt. This was under the direct supervision of Grand Master Seikichi Odo. I followed Sensei John Snyder when he left the Heilman Karate Academy and he opened his own dojo, East Coast Karate in West Lawn, PA. Grand Master Seikichi Odo, lived in Okinawa, Japan and he was the founder of The Ryukyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu Federation. Dai Sensei Odo would travel to the United States every year or two to train us and evaluate our progress with his style of karate.
I will leave you with this Okinawan phrase which has guided me in both my karate training as well as my personal life and it means “to never retreat, surrender and never give up”…
“HIKE O TORANAI”